Do soapstone counters make sense in a modest New England colonial?

dharma203February 21, 2013
I've narrowed my countertop choices down to soapstone and quartz (pretty much opposites). I will have brand new white cabinets. We went to look at some soapstone counters at a friend's house last night and they're lovely. But they're in an antique farmhouse. Is the soapstone going to look ridiculous in my modest little colonial? The quartz is very pristine while the soapstone is more rustic with tons of character. Both are appealing to me but I want to choose what makes sense. Thoughts?
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Soapstone is a material that goes well with a lot of things and would look great in your modest Colonial house. I love quartz myself, but feel it does tend modern because of its shine and polished finish. Go with soapstone...
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:58AM
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I think soapstone would look great in any older structure--especially if it has a bit of character. Of course, it would be much more helpful to see pictures.

Are you concerned that SS would look too rich in a modest home?

I think it's too classic and essential of a material to not settle in nicely to any home--so long as the context (the cabinets, finishes, and other elements of the space) are complementary.
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:01AM
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Thank you, soberg and AMN for your help!

I'm more concerned with it looking out of place - it fits so perfectly into that farmhouse feel which is not our house. It's actually a 1947 Cape but we took off the second floor last year and made it a colonial for extra space. Our kitchen isn't in yet so I don't have any pictures. I will post some pictures of our new cabinets later (they're in boxes in the kids' playroom). But they are very simple, and white and actually our island will be quite large and that is in "Maple Gunsmoke" which is essentially black. I'm thinking about putting something different on that (especially if I go with soapstone) but that's a whole other story ;)

And our floors are yellow pine (but not wide board).

Thanks again!
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:34AM
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Soap stone has been used in European homes for many years. You shouldn't worry about the style of your home as you can find it in homes of every style. Like your idea of a different surface on an island. I have done that before and been very pleased with the look. Good luck with your project!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:44AM
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Alison Hodgson
Soapstone! It's a classic and beautiful, but subtle. Make your considerations about the durability. I do have a small chip after 18 months but that doesn't bother me. Good luck in making all your decisions.
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:41AM
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Granite Grannies
I think that would be an ideal place for soapstone! It looks great in modest homes. Soapstone is one of those materials that works just as well in a historic home as it does in a uber modern space. It's gorgeous and timeless. Go for it!
    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Granite Grannies
Here are some pictures of soapstone in contemporary, but modest spaces:
Joanne's Kitchen · More Info

updated kitchen · More Info

Alison's Cottage Renovation · More Info

Gary Earl Parsons, Architect · More Info

Eclectic Modern Tudor Kitchen · More Info

Kitchen · More Info

Dwellings · More Info
    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Granite Grannies
@ Allison, the company that installed the soapstone should be able to take care of that chip for you. Natural stone is fairly easy to repair.
1 Like    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:27AM
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The most common counter top materials during the 1930s included soapstone (and marble) on the upper end and linoleum on the lower end. Tile was very common.

If it's in your budget, by all means go for soapstone. It's been used in laboratories for decades because it's impervious to chemicals (and cooking is just one experiment after another). It's a beautiful material and would be an excellent choice for a vintage Dutch Colonial. It would definitely be my first choice.
    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Mirasol Soapstone LLC
We very much agree on soapstone. Best of luck. Please contact us if we can assist with any of your soapstone needs.
    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:59AM
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We ended up going with soapstone counters and a quartz island top (it's Silestone's "Lagoon" and looks similar to marble. I LOVE it and we are thrilled with our decision. Thank you!
2 Likes    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:33AM
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